I never new Steel was so complicated


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HoosierQ
March 25, 2009, 11:30 AM
It is no surprise to me that folks in this area know a lot more than I do. I have owned a heck of a lot of knives over the years. I'm in a "Mora phase" right now.

So many people here understand knife steel and I know nothing other than Stainless is hard to sharpen but everything comes in stainless more or less.

Who can be a resource or point me to a resource to know more about steel? It seems to be a hugely complicated subject.

Thanks.

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Todd A
March 25, 2009, 11:59 AM
It seems to be a hugely complicated subject.

Not really as long as you remember that perfection in steel development was reached with 1095 carbon.:D:evil:;)

Honestly I can't figure out this stainless stuff either.:o:banghead:

There have been some pretty good threads on this subject before. Someone will jump in shortly with some great info for you. Some really smart "stainless guys" hang out here.

hso
March 25, 2009, 12:10 PM
There are a few good summaries that don't require a degree in metallurgical engineering to understand.

http://cutleryscience.com/reviews/blade_materials.html

Also take a look at A.G. Russel's site and Spyderco's as well as the Library here.

Other interesting sources of information -

http://ajh-knives.com/metals.html
http://www.sff.net/people/pff/steel.txt
http://www.crkt.com/steelfct.html
http://www.benchmade.com/about_knives/our_blades.asp
http://users.ameritech.net/knives/steels.htm
http://www.allaboutpocketknives.com/research/knife_information/blade_steel.php

7X57chilmau
March 25, 2009, 12:11 PM
This site gives a good overview of some of the more common knife steels:

http://www.engnath.com/public/steel.htm

Many knives are available in non-stainless and so-called semi-stainless tool steels.... D2 for example is probably superior to all true stainlesses and perhaps to 1095, while retaining some degree of rust resistance. Granted, you need to look beyond the local hardware store or Walmart to find the nicer options, but they abound.

No one steel is "best" for "knives". A knife's design is a set of compromises, and the steel represents on of those.

Many modern stainless or near-stainless steels are actually quite good for most knife tasks...

J

bikerdoc
March 25, 2009, 12:24 PM
HSO got it right. Spyderco and the others are my go to sites.


I , like todd also like 1095.

Of the stainless, S30V is nice

hso
March 25, 2009, 12:26 PM
No one steel is "best" for "knives". A knife's design is a set of compromises, and the steel represents on of those.

Exactly on target. A knife blade's performance is based on the material, it's heat treat and the grind. If any one is not right the blade will not perform as needed.

HoosierQ
March 25, 2009, 01:30 PM
Thanks fellas. I am going to hang on to these. I am quite aware of so many compromise solutions...in the caliber wars...obviously in steel selection. At lunch a couple days ago...warning, off topic...I was explaining how boat propellers and hull designs are all give and take...there is no one perfect example of either.

I will read up on steel. I got three of the four Mora steels, laminated, stainless, and carbon. All are scary sharp right out of the box. One of the stainless ones had a bit of a wire edge which I carefully dealt with on a ceramic hone...holding that Nordic bevel flat on the hone. It marred the polished finish but the marring was very even and the wire edge is gone.

The best of them is probably the carbon steel but all are so sharp that it really is something.

7X57chilmau
March 25, 2009, 02:36 PM
You need a strop for light wire edge removal!

I use a piece of thick, stiff leather I got a a leather shop. Has a very smooth, glossy finish, very little grain shows through.

Then I took a piece of jeweler's rouge (some say this is not agressive enough, but it works great for me...), and coloured the leather crayon style. Then I warmed the result with a heat gun a bit, and burnished the leather with a papertowel until all traces of free rouge were gone, leaving a shiny burnished leather look. It's about 4" x 12", big enough for just about anything.

J

HoosierQ
March 25, 2009, 04:22 PM
7x57...thanks.

I wondered how to apply the rouge. That is a good tip. I want to make myself a strop...I have plenty of leather. I am glad you piped in as I would have rouged the rough side.

QB

TimboKhan
March 25, 2009, 11:42 PM
Just to back up what others are saying, the Spyderco site taught me about all I really wanted to know about steel, which was a basic working knowledge of what the differences are from the consumers point of view. I have gotten additional information on the topic from the many THR people that have forgotten more about knives than I will ever even know.

JTW Jr.
March 26, 2009, 12:00 AM
Not really as long as you remember that perfection in steel development was reached with 1095 carbon.

If it were only that simple , 1095 is a decent steel , but far from perfect , there is no perfect knife steel , there are those suitable for better conditions , functions or tasks. But no perfect steel exists . and probably never will. Regardless of what someone who's hammer is pointing magnetic north says. ;)

Todd A
March 26, 2009, 01:54 AM
If it were only that simple , 1095 is a decent steel , but far from perfect

Blasphemy!!!!!:neener::evil::fire:;)

I must now go caress my knives and tell them you didn't really mean that.:D

alaskanativeson
March 26, 2009, 02:20 AM
Todd, in this world you are right. However, the INFI Gods are looking down on you from Olympus or Valhalla, and may bless you with an other-worldly miracle known as Infi Steel from Busse Combat.

Of course I really don't have a problem with my 1095 RAT Cutlery knives either. They aren't quite in the same league as my Busses, but they're still great knives.

sm
March 26, 2009, 02:47 AM
Just me, still I look a lot more like carbon or tool steel with names such as aught-one and bastard file than I do some of the new-n-fangled steels out there.

I look nothing like a S30V, that sounds like one of them there ferrin cars...

*wink*

turkeythigh
March 26, 2009, 03:40 AM
you can never go wrong with a good hard AUS-8 steel, just my opinion. it tends to take a bit longer to sharpen but it holds an edge pretty well. my Benchmade has a blade made of it and i love it to death. i do think i will be buried with it.

bikerdoc
March 26, 2009, 05:31 AM
turkeythigh. Welcome to THR ( as I say to all new members feel free to PM )

Benchmade does a good job with AUS8, IIRC it is hardened to hrc 60
Some sources liken it to 440C

A great description and review of all steels, thier composition and some knives, can be found at

cutleryscience.com/reviews/blades_materials.html

Its a little techie but well worth the read. I printed it out and defer to it often.


That said,

Blasphemy!!!!!

I must now go caress my knives and tell them you didn't really mean that.

ME TO TODD:D


And since im an opinionated old curmudgom I dont like sharpening VG_10 :banghead:

Doc

hso
March 26, 2009, 10:54 AM
Actually, the "ultimate" blade steel is Bainite L6, but that is so esoteric that few will ever encounter it.;)

Zeke/PA
March 26, 2009, 01:23 PM
Actually, there are a few steels developed with ONLY knives in mind, one being 420 Stainless supposedly developed with qualities partial to the Cutlery industry.
The venerable D-2 is a World War I era die steel, extensively used in knives because of it's propensity to resist rust and also it's edge holding ability.
Other steels were and still are developed largely with other industrial needs in mind.
154-CM (ATS-34) was a very hi-tensile space age development brought to use in kinves by the great Bob Loveless.
O-1 is avery good knife steel and REALLY is as "exotic" as a knife steel has to be.
Any knife requires some care and sharpening chores are made easy of course by the Spyderco Sharpmaker.
A foot long section of an old belt, glued to a corresponding piece of wood makes an excellent strop, a scary arm-shaving edge the result.

dagger dog
March 26, 2009, 04:45 PM
If the world made it from the end of the Bronze Age to around the early
1950's , with out stainless knife blades, the carbon is good enough for me!

Ohm
March 26, 2009, 05:24 PM
Some info on Physical Metallurgy from MIT. The course information is available as a free download.

http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Materials-Science-and-Engineering/3-40JSpring2004/LectureNotes/index.htm

http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Materials-Science-and-Engineering/3-40JSpring2004/DownloadthisCourse/index.htm

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